It's Wednesday morning and hard to believe that the wedding is over and all the guests have returned home. What I know is that we've made tons of memories and left just about everyone with the warm fuzzies.
Steve's mom, dad and Aunt Jacky arrived first (on Tuesday night) to help with all the almost last minute details. My family began arriving from Texas and Ohio on Thursday. The house was full and the details were all that was left to tie up. The weather people were predicting rain, but with a little help from the gods, Sioux Falls stayed dry throughout the festivities.
The yard looked beautiful, thanks to Steve's careful tending for weeks before. Daisies and wildflowers bloomed everywhere and the hibiscus was its showy best all day Saturday, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Despite the wind, the arch remained in place all day long. Chairs and tables were set up and the flowers delivered. When I saw them I was thrilled. Each bouquet was made from Stargazer lilies, green hydrangeas, and pink peonies. They were amazing. Mason jars filled with the same were placed throughout the yard and it was unbelievably beautiful. A few river rocks in the bottom of each vase kept them standing in the ever increasing wind.
When it was time to dress, I had lots of help and was hugely relieved when it fit perfectly. Bridesmaids dresses fit with a few nips and tucks, and the groomsmen were oh-so-handsome in their "uncomfortable" tuxedos. I had chosen ivory jackets with black slacks and the choice was perfect.
Then it was 3 o'clock...I was so ready. The music started to play and one by one each couple made their way down the toward Lynnette - the officiant - and the garden arch. Emma and Matt, the flower girl and ring bearer were precious. And then it was my turn. When we walked toward the front, I knew that everyone in the place was touched, but me most of all. Regardless of all the landscaping, guests, flowers and music, this was what it was all about.
Daddy reached over and handed my hand to my husband, who gently took it and looked at me with such love and respect that I almost cried.
And Lynnette, in her own amazing way, began to take over and lead us - as she does so perfectly - through a ceremony that touched even the toughest hearts.
When my sister Ann did here reading from The Prophet - she had to stop occassionally to regroup as the tears were freely flowing. Which caused little Emma to sob, and the rest of the girls to pull out hankies. (Despite their overt manliness, even a few of the groomsmen later admitted they were having trouble holding back the tears.) When we said our vows, the weeping continued - I think it was because of the truth of it all. We committed to allow each other to be who we are with support and love. And promised that the couple we had become would be a greater whole. And when it was time for the kiss, everyone was feeling the love.
Perfect - of course. The entire wedding.
We exited, ate fabulous food, stood for tons of photos and everyone was happy.
The wind blew the arch down about fifteen minutes after the photos were finished - and it was so okay.
Steve's mom and Aunt Jacky giving me his grandmother's ring to wear.
Ann and Emma's tears
Steve in his tuxedo with his Larry the Cable Guy shirt underneath
All the sisters together
Matthew's grin and kisses
The look in Steve's eyes
My own tears
The beautiful flowers
The togetherness despite differences
The sound of the windchimes
Lynnette's strength and presence
My sister Ann's love
There are so many more....
The reception in Wetonka was fab...and I'll try to recap tomorrow.
Ain't love grand?
Suffice it to say that the music turned out just fine, and the food was delicious, and the ceremony went very well.